POST DECREE CHECKLIST

Once you and your spouse have your order of divorce it is important that you notify your financial and investment administrators or creditors, as well as certain government institutions, of the change in your marital status.  It is also important that create a new estate plan and will.   After their mediation I send all of my clients a post decree checklist as a gentle reminder of what they need to do.  Please feel free to use the attached checklist.

 

This checklist outlines the financial and legal steps they may need to take as part of moving forward after their legal separation or divorce. However, every divorce is different, and required changes made post-divorce depends on their specific situation, rarely does a client have to do all of these, and some may have unique situations requiring action not listed here.

 

  • Change your last name legally (if it’s part of your divorce decree, it’s free)
  • Change your last name with social security, driver’s license, passport, etc.
  • Update Contact Information with…
    • Schools
    • Daycare
    • Medical providers
    • Other organizations
  • Arrange for sharing of information/provide copies of Parenting Plan, as appropriate with schools, daycare, medical providers, organization (Scouts, sports, lessons, etc.)
  • Arrange for payment of child support and daycare by DCS or Electronic Funds Transfer
  • Notify School(s) of Change(s) in Custody
  • Create log for children’s residential time, issues, activities and expenses
  • Change Beneficiary Designations
    • ERISA Qualified Plans
    • IRAs (all types)
    • Deferred Compensation Plans
    • Stock Option Plans
    • Life Insurance Policies (if NOT used as security for support payments)
    • Accounts Paid to the Order of or Paid/Transferred at your Death to the Ex-Spouse (typically bank accounts)
  • Complete Title Transfers
    • Residence Ownership
    • Other Real Estate Ownership
    • Vehicles/Boats/Trailers, etc.
    • Stock or Equity Rights in a Business or Investment (get the original certificates)
    • Brokerage Accounts
    • Life Insurance (e.g., ex-spouse owns policy)
  • Terminate Joint Liabilities
    • Credit Cards (bank and stores)
    • Line(s) of Credit, HELOC, etc.
    • Personal Guarantees of Ex-Spouse’s Liabilities (e.g., business interest)
    • Mortgages (may not be permitted by the terms)
    • Utilities
    • Auto Insurance
  • Terminate Joint Accounts
    • Banking (i.e., checking, savings, etc.)
    • Brokerage
    • Safety Deposit Boxes
    • Terminate Automatic Withdrawals (e.g. to ex-spouse’s account or benefit)
    • Ensure Zelle (Venmo/Remitly, etc.) deposits go to correct account
  • Remove Permitted Access/Signing Authority
    • Personal Banking (i.e., checking, savings, etc.)
    • Business Payroll Service
    • Business Checking Accounts
    • Personal Brokerage Accounts
  • Change(s) of Address (Both to Post Office & Each Party Below)
    • IRS (i.e., tax returns and audits) – Use IRS Form 8822
    • Employer(s)
    • Creditor, Bank, Brokerage, Retirement and Similar Mailings
    • All Insurance Companies
    • Driver’s License
    • Passport
    • Military and Veterans Benefits
    • Social Security
  • Manage shared digital family accounts (Costco, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Venmo, etc.)
  • Revise Estate Planning Documents
    • Will (especially if revoked by divorce under state law)
    • Revocable Trust(s)
    • Medical Directive or Healthcare Power of Attorney
    • General Power of Attorney
    • Decide whether to retain any Irrevocable Insurance Trusts which name ex-spouse as beneficiary
    • If your relatives have named your ex-spouse in their documents, alert them to the need to make changes
  • Change Employment-Based Benefits
    • Enter a modification for any Employee Benefit Cafeteria Plan
    • Life Insurance
    • Health Insurance
    • HSA
    • FSA
  • Change Access Codes/Passwords
    • Internet Access (e.g., bank, brokerage)
    • Credit, Debit and ATM Cards
    • Frequent Flyer Accounts
    • Email Accounts
    • Any digital accounts
    • Subscriptions (Netflix, Prime, Costco, etc.)
    • Personal Safe
  • Change Access to or close Shared Digital Family Accounts
    • Amazon prime
    • Netflix
    • Hulu
    • Itunes
    • Kindle
    • Venmo
    • Remitly
    • Zelle
    • Costco
  • Change Locks / Location of Hidden Keys for Places Such As…
    • Personal Home
    • Apartments
    • Office
    • Personal Safe
    • Mailbox
    • Rental Properties
    • Vacation Home
    • Vehicles/Boats, etc.
    • Safe Deposit Box
  • Obtain Signatures of Ex-Spouse
    • Resigning as an Officer or Director of any Business
    • Signing over any Life Insurance, Long Term Care, Disability or Other Insurance Benefit
    • To Permit any Continued Military or VA Benefits
    • Relinquishment of any Rights to a Family Burial Plot
  • Create Required Funding Arrangements
  • Monitor Credit Reports Post-Divorce

 

 

 

 

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